If there were any lingering doubts about the popularity of Star Wars in the year 2015, Star Wars Celebration killed them. Ruthlessly. When the the live-streamed panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered the second trailer for J.J. Abrams’ wildly anticipated sequel, you could feel the internet quiver and shake underneath the weight of the hype. It was a staggering event that made the next few geek-friendly trailers released in the following days feel like small potatoes in comparison. And yes, this hyperbole is backed up by raw numbers: the second trailer for The Force Awakens shattered the record for most trailer views in 24 hours.
Something has survived ... and it’s been packaged, licensed and sold to an audience of millions! No, we’re not talking about the Jurassic Park franchise or the new Jurassic World trailer, but rather the dinosaurs on display in the film, who are the star attractions in a fully functioning prehistoric theme park where nothing ever goes wrong! Until it does. And when things go wrong at dinosaur theme parks, things go really wrong.
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
Without a great adversary, what good is a superhero? Without someone to punch in the face, Batman would just be some rich schmuck driving around in a weird-looking tank. Without someone on the receiving end of his shield, Captain America would just hang out at the V.F.W. all day. So let’s celebrate the villains. Let’s bring on the bad guys and give them their moment in the sun. With Avengers: Age of Ultron introducing another memorable baddie in the form of James Spader’s titular metallic menace, let’s take some time to run down the 10 greatest superhero movie villains of all time.
The early estimates for the opening weekend gross of Furious 7 are all over the place and we probably won’t have a definitive number until tomorrow, when the dust finally settles and everyone gets a chance to breathe. However, this one thing we know for sure: the seventh film in the Fast and Furious series didn’t just shatter in-franchise records, it shattered records for any April release.
Since The Walking Dead just ended its fifth season and it’s still one of the biggest shows in the history of television, it makes sense that SNL would pause to talk about it. After all, what good is the “Weekend Update” segment if the anchors don’t occasionally stop to talk about what’s big in popular culture? And what good is SNL if it can’t get one of the most popular actors from The Walking Dead to stop by for a minute-long cameo?
In one of the strongest box office weekends of 2015 so far, both Home and Get Hard opened strong while Insurgent and Cinderella continued to perform well. This was the rare weekend that literally offered something for everyone, with R-rated comedies and animated family fare exceeding expectations.
What does a movie studio want out of its sequels? Is a sequel a failure if it simply matches its predecessor or does it need to make more money? That’s the big question that’s swirling around Insurgent, which made almost exactly as much as Divergent did one year ago. Seriously: there’s only a $500,000 difference in their opening weekends. So is Insurgent a success or a disappointment?
The first Mission: Impossible 5 trailer has arrived and it contains all of the high-flying derring-do you’ve come to expect from this series. It also reveals the actual title of the movie: Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, which is almost as good as Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol in the “awesomely silly spy title” category.
Suddenly, Disney’s upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast is looking like a very wise move. After all, their new take on Cinderella shook the box office out of the doldrums, launching with numbers that feel more at home with the summer than March. Yes, it even took down that might spring movie season titan Liam Neeson.
With Star Wars: Episode 7 less than a year away, Disney and Lucasfilm are facing a conundrum: just how many billions do they want to make from ancillary merchandise? Get ready for Star Wars bedsheets and Star Wars lunch boxes and, of course, countless new Star Wars action figures. You will be able to fight other adults in the toy aisle at Target like never before! However, Star Wars aficionados hoping to celebrate their fandom in a quieter way will also have their fair share of options, namely 20 new books bridging the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Making any movie is difficult, but making the sequel to one of the most popular movies of all time? That’s downright Herculean and Joss Whedon refuses to play the modesty game with it comes to Avengers 2. Describing the film as a “nightmare” and the “hardest juggling act he has ever, ever tried to pull off,” the beloved writer/director pulled no punches in talking about the difficult creative decisions that went into making the movie.
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